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Art VLA vs FMR RNLA
Old 18th May 2006
  #1
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Guitarzan's Avatar
 

Art VLA vs FMR RNLA

These two seem to be the best low end colored compressors. So which one is better? Dual mono seems like a nice feature on the VLA and rack mount seems sexier. Anyways, what do the collective gearslutz have to say
Old 18th May 2006
  #2
I think the VLA is one of those "hidden gems" in audio. Except for the QC of the last few years... That being said, it certainly is a unique piece.

But I'd bet the RNLA will work just as well in 10 years as it does on Tuesday. The VLA may have gone through a few sets of tubes and a few tweaks by then.

But even with that, I'm in no hurry to get rid of my VLA...
Old 18th May 2006
  #3
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s.d.finley's Avatar
RNLA is unbalanced only, and mono or stereo, no dual mono...

sdf
Old 18th May 2006
  #4
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Jussi Kulomaa's Avatar
 

I did the slutty thing and got them both.
Old 19th May 2006
  #5
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

Yeah...I have 2 of each. Can't have salt without owning pepper! (El-Ops, Distressors, and SSL comps are my cinnamon, cumin and tabasco!)

Cheers,
JvB
Old 19th May 2006
  #6
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So to those of you that own both, if you had to choose one which one would it be? I am using a mackie onyx for my pres and am recording mostly my own vocals and acoustic guitar.
Old 19th May 2006
  #7
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The RNLA is unbalanced in and balanced out, if I remember correctly. It's balanced one way and unbalanced the other, I know that for sure.

I did have a choice between the RNLA and the PRO VLA, as I owned both. Went with the PRO VLA. While I can accept that some people might like the RNLA, I honestly don't understand what all the hype is about.
Old 19th May 2006
  #8
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dntknowsht's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert
While I can accept that some people might like the RNLA, I honestly don't understand what all the hype is about.
The big red knobs?

Anyway, I own both and love em both. For the price it's not unrealistic to have the two of them. But, if you could only get one... I think the VLA is easier to dial in and you have the option of dual mono. But, the RNLA is $50.00 cheaper and like someone else mentioned, there's no tubes to deal with so, you will probably be maintainance free for a longer period. I think they both sound great and they're fun to use, so really, you can't go wrong IMO.
Old 19th May 2006
  #9
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s.d.finley's Avatar
Albert is correct, unbalanced ins, balanced outs.....on the RNLA.

sdf
Old 19th May 2006
  #10
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Guitarzan's Avatar
 

Thanks for all of your input. Of course, now I am also considering the RNC. I know it is very transperent but hey, I'd save a few bucks. After all, this is Low End Theory. As much fun as buying gear is, I am always afraid of making the wrong desicion.
Old 19th May 2006
  #11
Gear Nut
 
Open Sky's Avatar
 

One vote for VLA here.
Old 19th May 2006
  #12
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s.d.finley's Avatar
I dont own a VLA, but have considered that option, but due to current rack real estate limits, I got an RNLA. I also have an RNC. I have only had the RNLA for a few months, as opposed to almost 7 years on the RNC, which has worked flawlessly.

I like the RNLA on drumbus and acoustic gits. For bass, I have a dbx160X, focusrite compounder and ART tube Levelar, with the Black Lion Audio mod, these I prefer on bass. This BLA mod replaces the opamps and caps in the power supply, which drastrically drops the noise on the ART unit, and makes it usable. I have not had a chance to run the RNLA thru the hoops yet...

As for the RNC, I LOVE it on tracking vocals. Its very transparent, I can get ALOT of gain reduction w/o artifacts. You can get it to pump and breathe too....but IMHO the RNLA does that better! I have tried the RNC on a gazillion soures, unlike the RNLA, and usually, its too transparent. No Mojo .

The RNLA is useful to me. The other comps I use have a different (or in the RNC's case lack of) a sonic signature.

Added bonus, its cheap. But then the added bonus on the VLA is those VU meters!!

What will you be using them on?

sdf
Old 19th May 2006
  #13
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Guitarzan's Avatar
 

vox and ac guitar
Old 19th May 2006
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

I have the VLA, RNC, and RNLA. I like them all in different ways. The VLA did not jump out at me at first. I dropped some burr brown opamps in it and now I am pleased with it. The RNC and RNLA have different sounds (clean and thicker) I would love to trade an RNC for another RNLA if anyone is interested.

Jason
Old 19th May 2006
  #15
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Raggedy's Avatar
Haven't tried the RNLA, but I own the RNC and I've used the VLA a bit.

If you already love the sound of your source/mic/pre etc., then the RNC works really well. As others have said, it can be very transparent, but it's pretty touchy too, and once it starts to really stick, it can get ugly.

The VLA definitely has a vibe, is easier to deal with, and quicker to pick up. And I think the sound is well beyond its price. It just seems to have a little more soul.

So if I was only going to have one compressor out of the three, I'd go with a VLA. However, if you're looking toward the future, there are other (much more expensive) tube compressors that could eventually replace the VLA, while the RNC would almost always have something to offer all its own.
Old 20th May 2006
  #16
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sonic dogg's Avatar
Another vote for the VLA. I have an old American made one and have used the Chinese assembled one too. There seems to be a difference in sound to the both. The American one being a bit more robust and easier to get pumping than the other. I would like more info on the Burr-Brown replacement thingy if possible...I do have two sets of tubes for mine ..The stock ones are pretty generic but the Mullards 12AT7 are the shizit.. I always liked the RNC...would have used one live when I had the PA rig if they had been around.. Havent used the RNLA. Always liked my Symetrix comps..501's and 525's.. Not purty but work always.
Old 20th May 2006
  #17
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jspartz
I have the VLA, RNC, and RNLA. I like them all in different ways. The VLA did not jump out at me at first. I dropped some burr brown opamps in it and now I am pleased with it. The RNC and RNLA have different sounds (clean and thicker) I would love to trade an RNC for another RNLA if anyone is interested.

Jason
Which Burr Brown did you use?

Brad
Old 21st May 2006
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonic dogg
Another vote for the VLA. I have an old American made one and have used the Chinese assembled one too. There seems to be a difference in sound to the both. The American one being a bit more robust and easier to get pumping than the other. I would like more info on the Burr-Brown replacement thingy if possible...I do have two sets of tubes for mine ..The stock ones are pretty generic but the Mullards 12AT7 are the shizit...
The 4 stock 5532s can be replaced with BB OPA2134s. You can pick them up at Digi Key for $2.63 per unit (part # OPA2134PA-ND)

I prefer Amperex ECC81s since they tend to exhibit a "brighter" sonic quality, which is ideal in the Pro Vla, since it's somewhat dark.
Old 21st May 2006
  #19
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junior's Avatar
 

also looking at the new meek mc2. it's supposed to be the same compressor as the twinQ and it's priced in the same ballpark as the rnla / vla. might be cool...
Old 21st May 2006
  #20
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I saw the mc2 in the new products forum. Does anybody have any experience with the comp.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #21
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turk sanchez's Avatar
I just got an RNLA...I really like it!
Old 23rd May 2006
  #22
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junior's Avatar
 

for the money, it'd be nice to have one of each
Old 24th May 2006
  #23
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

Had to choose between the two? I'd go VLA. But I like the RNLA, its a gentle little flavor good for busses and mixes, and I like having them. But if I have to choose? hands down VLA.
Old 1st June 2006
  #24
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I just picked up my VLA off of craigslist for $200.00. It's sounding good
Old 3rd June 2006
  #25
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

Congrats! nice unit, huh? I was afraid to use ART until one of these landed in my lap...I bought another... them four more for other clients...everybody loves them when they need a great sounding tube comp but can't spend 2,500 on them.
Old 4th June 2006
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
Guitarzan's Avatar
 

I did some tracking on acoustic guitar and think it sounds wonderful. I am interested in replacing the tubes, any suggestions?
Old 5th June 2006
  #27
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

have you done a search? I recall reading several different options for modifications.

Jim
Old 5th June 2006
  #28
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Albert's Avatar
 

I'm using EI 12AX7 gray plate tubes, the ones made in Yugoslavia. Pretty cheap on eBay and they sound good.
Old 5th June 2006
  #29
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BradM's Avatar
NOS GE 12AT7's from Tubedepot.com with matched and balanced triodes.

Brad
Old 5th June 2006
  #30
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Ruudman's Avatar
 

For EU'slutz, check out Tube Amp Doctor (TAD) thumbsup


ruudman
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